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How To Save The Content Industry

I wrote this last night as notes for a longer, more intense post on my main Glot. I think my ideas are interesting, but it's weird to read my notes since I'm usually so presentation and polish obsessed. Do you know how many of my 3000+ Twitter updates have unintentional misspellings? I'd say it's in the low zeroes. But I think this might be interesting enough and topical enough to interest a few of you -- so here it is, birth-goo and all:

The secret is to stop acting like belligerent, entitled, megalomaniac dinosaurs, accept the reality and the benefits of file-sharing, and be a force for good in the culture.

ACTA is falling apart (sez zeropaid. Oink got off. Even the new strategy of co-operating with ISPs seems doomed to failure. their overzealous plans to make content hosts screen for ALL copyrighted content are, if not impossible, just going to push people toward other options (Freenet? Ubiquitous encryption?). Even if it did, every harsher step just seems to alienate more people and convince them of their evilness. It seems that the problem they have is how to overcome human nature, and the wholesome desire to spread beauty, truth and joy -- as well as resentment for the scorched-earth/hardball strategies used fighting to do that. The business model is broken and they don't accept it. They can't control things (make money) like they used to. They have to scrape for money [open letter from okgo]

Here's an idea: play nice. Don't use your established place to crush new competitors and stifle ideas. There's room enough for everybody. How about you encourage people to buy your products by being a force for good, by respecting customers/fans/readers, by putting out quality content? Why go through such elaborate steps to market crap just because you can have more control (twilight, transformers, 90s boy bands)? Your modus operandi is to make money, not maintain control. Accept that personal politics in the future will have a good deal to do with one's opinions on the corporations and production methods one is supporting -- vote with dollars. Example: green movement, Food Inc, cc authors like Doctorow. How successful, to be the first big content provider/distributor to say "we will never sue our fans. We still want their money, and we have good reason. We wont help to share content for free, that's an act if fan love -- except for explicit promotions -- but we also are morally against (financially, too!) any deal that aims to buttress a failing system at the cost of the culture we exist in and live (profit) in."

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February 2010


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